Militia in Malheur

[Content Note: Terrorism; guns; white supremacy.]

You may have heard that, over the weekend, armed militants, including relatives of anti-government rancher Cliven Bundy, took over the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge headquarters in Oregon. If you haven't heard about it, however, I wouldn't be terribly surprised—the media seems far less interested in covering a story about a bunch of armed white supremacist dirtbags taking over a government property than they do investigating the social media accounts of black people killed by police to find "evidence" of thuggery.

And what coverage there has been is exactly as odious as you'd imagine: ABC reported it as "Peaceful protest followed by Oregon wildlife refuge action," while a CNN analyst explained away the double standard for how the white militia was being treated by law enforcement by arguing: "This is a very rural area. It is out in the middle of nowhere. What are they actually doing? They're not destroying property; they're not looting anything."

Here is some important background reading on the situation:

Alan Pyke for Think Progress: "What You Need to Know About the Current Militia Standoff in Oregon."

Colin Daileda for Mashable: "Oregon Militant Leader: 'The people have been abused long enough'."

Matt Novak for Gizmodo: "Oregon Was Founded as a Racist Utopia."

At the moment, I don't have any additional commentary beyond what I said on Twitter yesterday: If it's possible for law enforcement to exercise restraint with these terrorists, then no more excuses for why a 12-year-old with a toy gun is dead.

Bundy & Co, Dylann Roof, Robert Dear... If you don't see the double standard, then you don't want to see it. And fuck you.

To be clear: I'm not arguing I want these assholes killed. I want the same restraint white privilege grants them to be extended to everyone. I'm saying that not reflexively being murdered by law enforcement shouldn't be a privilege.

As if on cue: "FBI seeks peaceful end to occupation at Oregon wildlife refuge." Of course they do. And so they should.

Would that every law enforcement agency prioritized a "peaceful end."

But of course there are differences between the militia in Malheur and the average black person killed by police. Namely: The white militia has certainly broken the law and is certainly armed with real guns and has plainly stated a willingness to use them.

Behold whiteness at work.

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